Every year, we'd sit around and watch Dad show us the same slides. I, however, would rarely spot myself in any of them. By the time I was growing up, Dad had transitioned to actual photos. But I'm not bitter at the memory of sitting around, year after year, and being forced to look at these slides. No, not bitter at all. :)
And every year, Waco slides were included. Every. Single. Year. And Dad would say the same thing, "Well, I wonder how that got in there?!" He fell in love with Wacos at an early age. When he was 8 or 9, he saved his pennies, nickels and dimes so he could go for a plane ride. Grandpa Joe and Grandma Ada took him to Lunken, he poured the $3 in change into the pilot's hands, and climbed into the Waco.
If you know my dad, ask him about this the next time you see him. Because the way he tells the story is magical. I can't do it justice.
The particular Waco he flew in was where the passenger was in front of the pilot. And the window and door folded out. So, my dad was in this plane, the pilot was behind him, and this little 8 year old boy was LEANING OUT of the plane! The only thing that held him in was his seatbelt. He told me later that he didn't think his mother knew about that part of the deal (but Grandpa Joe did). And Dad loved how the pilot landed the plane. He remembered "slipping" into Lunken over the Ohio River.
Of course Dad couldn't stop talking about his incredible adventure, and his 2 older brothers decided that they had to try it, too. The next year, all 3 brothers went to Lunken and climbed into Wacos. I love it that the little brother is the one who influenced his 2 older brothers.
Dad and 2 of his sisters at Lunken when he took his second ride in a Waco
Dad (in the center), his 2 older brothers, and 2 younger sisters at Alms Park. This was the same day that all the boys took rides in Waco airplanes (Alms Park overlooks Lunken).
Dad tried to pass along his love of Wacos to his kids. I don't think any of us bonded with them, however. Sure, we'd go to the Waco Fly-Ins (as if we had a choice), we'd listen to his stories, but we never "felt the love" for the Waco like Dad did. The poor man tried, though.
Yes, they have Waco Clubs
And that included the Christmas Eve slide show. We knew it was coming. And he never disappointed.
Well, how did that get in there?